WMAG Reviews – Kipling Bags

We're talking about the new line of Kipling bags, including some stylin' diaper bags disguised as cute big purses and designed to handle our many working mom roles.
Just because we’re Working Moms Against Guilt doesn’t mean we’re Working Moms Against Cool Stuff. We are most definitely FOR products that make our lives (or our families’ lives) a little easier or more enjoyable. So when we try stuff we think other working moms might find interesting, we’ll dish with you: the good, the bad, and the overpriced.

For our first review, we’re talking about the new season of Kipling bags. Thanks to Kipling for sending us some samples to try out!

Tela’s Bag
Cara/Fireworks Red, available starting this month, $94
I have three words for my bag: Cute, but BIG. Huge, in fact. The sheer hugeness of this bag is one of the reasons I would venture to say it’s not really a “diaper” bag, as it was described to us. (The other reasons being a lack of a changing pad and sufficient amount of pockets, which I’ll address in a bit.)

This bag is SO big I can throw my purse inside of it, plus diapers, bottles, snacks, an iPod, a change of clothes, and still have room for more. LOTS more. And everything sort of just floats around in the bag because there aren’t many pockets. So it’s very difficult to find stuff when I need it. More than once I’ve thrown the bag on the ground, got on my knees, and rummaged through it with one hand (while holding O in the other) in an attempt to find my keys, a diaper—any number of things. Not cool. And what’s with no changing pad? Half the time, a changing pad is what distinguishes a diaper bag from a regular purse. Plus, I like my changing pad. I don’t like not having one.

But did I mention it’s cute? Because it is. And lots of other people must think so too, because I get compliments on it constantly. Which does wonders for my ego; it helps my delusions that I didn’t turn completely uncool once I became a mom. Take that!

However, a diaper bag it is not; regular bag it is not. A bag this huge is only fit for only a few occasions, such as overnight visits or trips to the beach (and I’m pretty sure you could find room to stow your beach chair and umbrella with no problem).

We're talking about the new line of Kipling bags, including some stylin' diaper bags disguised as cute big purses and designed to handle our many working mom roles.

Susan’s Bag
Madhouse/Honeycomb, available starting in August, $82

While this casual diaper bag lacks the flash and pizazz of some of the others, I like it because it goes with everything. Kinda like khakis. While it’s probably too big to be a purse (unless you’re a crazy big purse mom, which I’m not), this bag makes for a nice laptop bag plus room for purse stuff. Even a diaper and Nuk or two, if need be. I took it on a one-day business trip and fit my computer, snacks, book, notebook, pen … everything I needed. There are plenty of zippers, compartments, and adjustable shoulder strap. It makes me look all professional-like and even a little bit cool. Plus, I love the little monkey tag! Cassie does, too.

Cara’s Bag
Serra/Fireworks Green, available starting in September, $68

I should have chosen the bag that was named after me! Instead I picked the Serra style—and I’m glad I did. I love this bag. It’s the perfect size for day-to-day. I’ve used it more as a big purse rather than a diaper bag. (LOL – Susan, I guess I’m a crazy big purse mom.) In my opinion, the Serra bag can take on many roles—purse, work bag, small gym bag, travel bag, or diaper bag. It does match my green Chicco stroller perfectly. Also, the strap is just the right size. When I put it over the stroller’s handles it doesn’t hang too low.

I’ve received a lot of compliments on the bag from my friends. Even Ben, the dude I sit next to at work said he liked the monkey key chain. Speaking of that monkey, everybody looked at me like I was crazy when I said “Remember the old fuzzy monkey key chains on Kipling backpacks?” Come on, people… this is what I was talking about! But, I digress…

Anyway, I give this bag a good review. However, I would never buy it at its full price of $68. Wait for it to appear at a T.J. Maxx store near you.

Sara’s Bag

Cara/Flower Bubble, available starting in October, $94

I apologize for not having a pic of my bag—my digital camera died! 🙁 But you can envision my bag because it looks like Tela’s only it has a blue design. When I got the bag, my first thought was much the same as Tela’s. This isn’t a diaper bag. It’s way too big, and there aren’t enough compartments to store all the different things that you need to be able to grab at a moment’s notice when you’ve got kids. (Actually, there aren’t any real compartments at all, save a small pocket on the side.) My daughter is old enough now that we don’t need an actual diaper bag with a changing pad. These days, I’m more likely to toss in a change of clothes, a few pull-ups and extra panties, some snacks and a sippy. For that purpose, the bag was serviceable. But I still felt like stuff was just knocking around in there.

What this bag really works well for is the beach or swimming pool. I took my daughter to the Y, and I was able to put our towels, gear, and even a bunch of her toys into the bag. Plus, it’s got a plastic lining, which was nice when I had to stash our wet suits while we did lunch at McDonald’s.

And yes, this bag is cute. Is it $94 worth of cute? I wouldn’t shell out the cash unless it had some major improvements in terms of compartments to break up all that space inside. For a beach bag, I’m more likely to pick up something cheap at Target. But I do enjoy carrying my Kipling bag. If you take your little ones swimming a lot, you’ll probably enjoy it, too.

7 thoughts on “WMAG Reviews – Kipling Bags

  1. Selfmademom says:

    Now that’s cool!! I gotta score me one of those! Nice post.

  2. What adorable bags. I’d never heard of them before. I’d have to go with Susan’s choice. I’m a kahki kind of gal.

  3. Hey Cara! I knew about the fur kipling monkey. I had a Kipling bag when I was back in college. Know where I got it? TJ Maxx. That’s right!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    If I’m a mom of little kiddos I’d go with across body style mom-bags, so hands are free to grab kids. http://shop.kipling.com/shop-uk/control/mumbaby/bags Look at the New Baby Bag L and Supernanny. I don’t think we can get these in US but I think some US ebay seller might be able to. Would go for the red fireworks print if going for color over function.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hey, If you are looking for cute affordable Kipling bags check out the website http://www.citysatchel.com They have the best selection and have free shipping right now! I emailed the store and got a few more items at an even better price! They are sooo easy to work with and very helpful. Hope this helps someone!

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